For many of us the thought of putting on a swimsuit to wear in a public environment can feel very uncomfortable. Being seen in this way causes us to feel overly exposed and may stir up negative feelings. Unfortunately, media these days can aggravate a harmful and unhealthy view of our body image by the constant barrage of polished images that clash with the reality of what a real everyday human body looks like.
The beauty of the classroom water environment is that everyone is stepping down into the water. In the water students see each other face to face. The water provides a gentle hug that re-affirms the body and even serves as a misty blanket of sorts that makes it very hard for students to examine and see each other's bodies.
That being said, I like to tell students that there are many other options with water wear. The traditional swimsuit is not at all a requirement. I wear swim capris or swim shorts and a swim tankini top. I've seen students wear shorts and a t-shirt they don't mind getting wet. I have students who wear a burkini. The important thing is that you feel comfortable with what you wear and that the clothing allows you to move with your body in the water safely.